The Inkatha Freedom Party (IFP) has given the South African Police Service (SAPS three days to find and apprehend the killers of Dumisani Khumalo, leader of the oSuthu Royal Council in Nongoma, after he was assassinated returning from the Royal Reed Dance ceremony at eNyokeni Palace over the weekend.
The 76-year-old traditional leader, who was close to the late AmaZulu King Goodwill Zwelithini KaBhekuzulu, leaves behind two wives and four children.
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“We call on SAPS to act swiftly to bring the perpetrators to justice. The IFP is extremely concerned about the brutal killings of izinduna, amakhosi and councillors in the province of KwaZulu-Natal,” IFP said in a statement.
ALSO READ: Questions raised about killing of King Misuzulu’s confidant
The IFP also conveyed its condolences to the King of the Zulu Nation, the Prime Minister of the Zulu Nation, the Royal Family, as well as the Khumalo family.
PHOTOS: Mourners from all walks of life have started gathering at the Nongoma home of Dr Dumisani Khumalo, the chairperson of the Osuthu royal council and confidant of King Misuzulu. Khumalo was killed last night shortly after returning from #eNyokeni palace reed dance. @IOL pic.twitter.com/BESTxuqJff— Sihle Mavuso (@ZANewsFlash) September 18, 2022
‘Trouble in paradise’
Last week, one of the Zulu princes, Prince Mxolisi KaBhekuzulu, wrote to KwaZulu-Natal Premier Nomusa Dube-Ncube in an attempt to halt the Reed Dance, saying the gathering could lead to confrontations which may result in bloodshed.
Mxolisi said the core structure of the AmaZulu Royal family did not recognise King Misuzulu as the Zulu King. Instead, it nominated and recognised King Simakade ka Zwelithini as the legitimate heir to the Zulu throne. Holding the event would ruffle feathers, he said.
“The Enyokeni Royal Palace is the official Residence of His Majesty King Simakade ka Zwelithini; and to have Prince Misuzulu and his supporters come to Enyokeni will be an act of extreme provocation, whose consequences, if allowed to proceed, are too ghastly to contemplate,” the letter reads.
‘The show goes on’
The dance took place regardless of Mxolisi’s stance, with about 12,000 Zulu maidens delivering the reeds inside the palace, filing past the king, and then leaving for the arena.
The ceremony was revived by the late King Goodwill Zwelithini in 1984 as a way to fight social problems facing young girls, including teenage pregnancy and HIV/Aids.
The ceremony involves camps, during which positive values are instilled. These include lessons on womanhood, how to value themselves and becoming independent adults.
Some Twitter users are adamant that Khumalo’s death is not a mystery and was orchestrated.
Social media user @Indepentdepend1 wrote: “This investigation must focus on people within the royal family who were making threats before the reed dance ceremony.”
However, Elizabeth Thobagale, User @Nwabisa_1, did not agree and insinuated that it was a tactic to distract the public.
“There’s a huge possibility that he wasn’t murdered by that camp ka Sma but someone who just want to see chaos ku Zulu,” She wrote.
Police must have a sense of urgency
The party has called on the Minister of Police Bheki Cele and national police Commissioner to prioritise the issue of political killings and urged the minister to set up a task team to look into the growing incidents of political killings.
ALSO READ: Zulu Prince warns Reed Dance weekend may result in bloodshed